Pursuant to: Transparency of Ballot Propositions Act, Utah Code Title 59, Chapter 1, Part 16
It is the charge and responsibility of Granite School District to prepare all students for college, career and life in the 21st century. In order to effectively carry out this responsibility, our kids need to have facilities that are safe, functional, and conducive to 21st century learning.
By law, Granite School District can only use the capital levy from local property taxes to pay for buildings. This levy was last increased in 1999. However, the need for building repairs, renovations and rebuilds is now swiftly outpacing that funding source. Costs for school facilities have increased five-fold since that time and will continue to increase in the future. This means, an elementary school that cost $3 million in 1999 dollars now costs around $16 million and will increase even further in future years.
As such, the District has received an in-depth analysis of school conditions by independent engineers. These reports indicated that roughly half of Granite School District schools are 75% or more in decline. In fact, current capital needs in the district total more than $1 billion.
The Granite School District is proposing a strategic 40-year capital plan to provide more innovative, relevant learning environments for our students. This 40-year plan involves an initial 10-year $238 million bond to rebuild, remodel and revitalize 31 of our school buildings. Additionally, the pace of smaller capital projects will be increased in order to revitalize all schools with necessary security upgrades, seismic stability enhancements, technology improvements, and essential structural maintenance as needed. Most schools in Granite School District need building upgrades to add security protections against intrusions. These are modern dangers that were not considered in school designs 50 years ago.
Further, seismic upgrades will make our schools safe and allow us to provide community shelters in emergency situations. Currently, almost a third of our facilities will not withstand a significant seismic event along the Wasatch Front. If these schools are damaged beyond repair, they cannot serve as community emergency resource centers, and drastic and costly accommodations would then have to be made for students.
Independent financial experts indicate that waiting to pursue these much needed projects will only increase taxpayer costs. Pushing the bond back even 3 years will increase construction costs by up to 30% for the same projects.
As such, the Board of Education asks for your support of the Granite District Bond on the November 2017 ballot to ensure that this fiscally prudent capital strategy can be implemented. Thank you for your support of Granite School District.